Orissa Reshuffle: Supremo Syndrome in Action Again

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Five of the ruling party sycophants, preening in power till Thursday, do no more appear to their sub-sycophants as political stars. They are unceremoniously dropped from the cabinet. So much upset are they by being divested of red-light cars, that, none of them could gather the courage of coming to the Governor House in their private vehicles to witness the induction of nine of their colleagues into the ministry, which could have been an instance of unruffled political curtesy expected of persons fitted into protocols as ex-ministers.

These fellows are: Prafulla Ghadei, Prafulla Samal, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Pratap Jena and Puspendra Singhdeo.

The inducted fellows are Kalpataru Das, Damodar Raut, Bijayashree Rautray, Pratap Keshari Dev, Subrat Tarai, Rajanikant Singh, Sarojini Hembram, Arun Kumar Sahu and Rabinarayan Nanda.

Some of these fellows were earlier dismissed from Naveen Patnaik’s cabinet on charges of corruption, on discernible incompetency, and on over-indulgence in self-projection; whereas one of them is a person, who has shown, how having committed a murder, one can escape the dragnets of law by using the tactics of silencing prosecution.

Relevant is not who is jettisoned, who is inducted.

Relevant is the role of “supremo syndrome” in reshuffle of cabinets.

Whoever has been jettisoned has no hesitation in saying that by complying the Chief Minister’s instructions to resign, he has only honored the order of the supremo.

Whoever has been inducted into the cabinet is attributing the lift to his/her loyalty to the supremo.

This supremo-syndrome is killing democracy. The party to which people have given the mandate is being relegated to irrelevance. On the other hand, ministers in the cabinet are being kept intimidated under constant fear of getting jettisoned, in case any of their action creates any suspicion in the mind of the supremo in matter of personal loyalty.

In such a situation, ‘collective wisdom’ of the cabinet in managing the affairs of the State is getting lost. Autocracy is engulfing democracy under the attire of democracy.

Because of willfully wrong interpretation of constitutional provisions about the prime-ministerial or chief-ministerial role in formation of ministries as personal prerogative of the PM or the CM, the supremo syndrome has taken birth and has divested democracy of consensus politics.

To defeat this danger, the so-called prerogative of the PM or CM in selecting and jettisoning the ministers needs be curbed and constitution of cabinets needs be vested in collective wisdom of the political party, which gets mandate of the people. Till then, the ministers can be viewed as mere sycophants of an individual, and nothing else. Hence there is nothing to rejoice over the reshuffle in Orissa.
It must be kept in mind that supremo concept and democracy are diametrically opposed to each other and can never go together.

3 comments » Write a comment

  1. What the hell does the story mean.No wonder naveen rules with such arrogance.we all deserve the contempt he exhibits towards journos.may be a oriya blog will help people from a wider spectrum of readers to reflect the common citizens views more freely without the language handicap.

    • Dear Sri Mohapatra,
      Thanks for the time given to the article and thanks for the feedback.

      I would have loved not to write what seems to have annoyed you. But here nothing is personal.

      Primacy of political parties
      needs be restored

      Our democracy is in decadence, because of political parties staying subservient to individuals known by the epithet ‘supremo’ or ‘high command’ and, because, members of the parties, instead of acting as friends, act as followers of the ‘supremo’ like servants are of the master.

      This syndrome has killed the primacy of political parties and is killing the spirit of the supremacy of collective wisdom and making a farce of democracy.

      As we all know, ours is not a Prime Minister or Chief Minister centric electoral system. Ours is a democratic system where people give their mandate to a political party or coalition of political parties, in approval of the concerned manifesto.

      Political parties are constituted and registered and recognized on the single basis of their pledge of adherence to democratic conduct in their lives, performances and practices.

      So, it is the political party with the majority mandate that is required to use its collective wisdom in democratically deciding as to who, along with the person to lead the cabinet, be in the cabinet and be one amongst the equals to use collective wisdom in managing the administration.

      Because of this cardinal role of collective wisdom, the system is called democracy. High Command or Supremo has no role in the system called democracy.

      The epithets belong to plutocracy

      But when democracy is changed into plutocracy, it changes under conspiracy of certain persons who pose as the High Command or Supremo, exactly as the most shrewd and dominant one in a pack of dogs earn recognition as the pack leader.

      The rest of the party concerned stay content with being the followers and compete with each other in showing loyalty to their pack leader that they call supremo or high command.

      Unless every instance of the supremo syndrome in action is not spotted and exposed by the journalists, our beloved motherland can never be saved from plutocracy, which, under guise of democracy, has already been fortified in India.

      In this article, I have done my duty. And, in these pages, I have been attacking plutocracy, as to me, important is democracy and emancipation of my fellow beings from the grip of plutocracy.

      Thank you again, for having shared your views.

  2. Pingback: Supremo syndrome yet again takes the toll: Ghadei gone, others alarmed | Orissa Matters

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